The Names Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Orville Benton do in the final moments of the novel?

2. What reason does James offer in Chapter 10 for Greece's continued buffeting by stronger powers historically?

3. Who is the character of Orville Benton based on?

4. What almost happens to Volterra in the humorous personal story he tells in Chapter 9?

5. What is the primary feature of the village of Hawa Mandir?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does James seduce Janet Ruffing at the end of Chapter 9?

2. How has Rowser become more paranoid in Chapter 11?

3. What unfortunate occurrence happens to David Keller in Chapter 13?

4. What admission does James make to Lindsay Keller in Chapter 13?

5. What does Singh say about the desert in Chapter 12?

6. What does James Axton learn in Bombay early in Chapter 11?

7. How did Del Nearing and Frank Volterra meet?

8. What information does Andahl give about the cult in Chapter 9?

9. How does DeLillo illustrate James' awkward relationship with his landlord in Chapter 10?

10. What offer does David Keller make James in Chapter 8, and how does James respond?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the relationship between James and Tap Axton. What do father and son do together throughout the novel, and how does the impending divorce affect this activity? What habits does Tap have that alienate him from James? Discuss whether DeLillo paints a picture of a father and son relationship that seems strong in any way. What other character seems more like a father figure to Tap?

Essay Topic 2

In the latter half of The Names, James Axton develops several female entanglements that serve as temporary place-fillers for his lost family. Write an essay about these three: Janet Ruffing, Del Nearing, and Ann Maitland. How does Ruffing fulfill his sexual needs as a man? How does Nearing fulfill his paternal needs after the essential loss of Tap? Discuss, lastly, how Ann Maitland provides the most complete relationship for him. What are the defining attributes of this relationship? How does their final moment in the novel resonate as particularly significant?

Essay Topic 3

In DeLillo's novel, objects and words take on symbolic value. Some of this becomes inchoate as a result of age and divine intent. Some of it is created in the mind of the observer. Write an essay discussing the significance of certain objects in the book. What individual is engrossed with this object, and what reasons does he or she give? What effect does this object have on characters? What divine significance does this object have in relation to other elements of the novel?

Part 1) The Acropolis

Part 2) The Cuneiform the archeologist hires a boy to read on a high precipice.

Part 3) The Ta Onomata boulder

(see the answer keys)

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